Sunday, February 22, 2015

I Believe That's Me: The Best Posse Joints of the 90s

In between stretches of searching for oxygen and petting my dachshund, today I've been thinking about the posse cut, a long-honored tradition in hip-hop. "The Symphony" is the gold standard, but I want to focus on the 90s, which is when the posse cut really flourished.

Without further adieu, the top 5 posse joints of 1990-1999:


KMD and Brand Nubian, friends.


Creeping up like Vietnamese in army fatigues.


Check, check, check it.


Nocturnalist journalist


'Nuff said.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Lemon Grass

I don't know what I'm returning to, but it smells nice. It smells like home. Baby powder. And smoke.

All right. I'm on my back. My hands are raised. I'm covered in blood. I'm going to miss church on Sunday. The porch light is flickering. Dogs are barking. A flashlight is shone in my face. I can only blink.

"Gorbert ma spa? Jaspen waspell? Ha! Garven! Jakekelin! Bie!"

"Why did you shoot me?"

"Helbur gaan ry vaneth. Meeteek! Meeteek!"

I am accepting my fate. I wish it wasn't like this, but it is. I just wanted to get the morning paper. Fuck, I'm dying.


"I can't understand what you're saying."

"Wes! Wes gorblack! Wes gorblack!"

Fine. Everything is fine. I'm leaving now. I don't think I'll be coming back.

"Basser! Hyter skiR!"

Sunday, February 08, 2015


I was back in Canada for ten days this past Christmas and New Year's. On Boxing Day, the 18th Letter and I went to play glow-in-the-dark mini putt at Putting Edge. After our game was over, we played pop-a-shot, and then the R murdered some bugs in Alien: Extermination.

After that, we had some time, so we went over to Indigo to browse. And there we decided that we'd combine each of our 10-dollar gift cards to buy Monopoly.

Best decision ever.

My phone got screwy, no SIM card, apparently, so I couldn't call home for a lift (I would have driven, but I didn't apply for an int'l driving permit), and R had left her phone at home. So we walked back.

Best decision ever.

It was cold, but not too cold (it was hellishly windy, though). The walk home was probably 4-5 kilometers, and we just chatted about stuff. I have a thousand fond memories of the times I've spent with my daughter, and that walk home has to rank in the top 10. No, 5.

Going home is weird for me. I grew up in Burlington, but I've spent the last 15 years in Korea. Everything looks so small there; there are no apartment blocks that obstruct the sky. Everything is so spread out.

So we walked and talked, me carrying a plastic bag that contained our Monopoly board, and R telling me everything. As we walked, I saw the neighborhood where I grew up through her eyes. Some things had changed, but overall it wasn't that different.

That's what growing older is, right? Fashions go in and out of style, and makeup styles might stamp a period on the era, but underneath not a lot changes. The street I walked up as a thirty-six-year-old father wasn't grossly different from the one I used to walk home on as a grade-school boy.

When we got home, we opened up the game. The 18th Letter was eager to play, and play we did.

I won't bore you with the details of the games we played (however fun or remarkable they were, and always following the rules), but I must say this: If there is a heaven, I hope they have Monopoly. We can take turns being the banker. And you can choose your piece. Just don't pick the cat; the cat always falls over.


Saturday, February 07, 2015


I'm on a bus. I'm breathing heavily. I shouldn't be this out of shape. I just ran ten meters, probably less, but I can't catch my breath. I'm sitting next to the window and the purple paisley curtain is blocking the sun. I'm trying not to freak out (I'm trying not to freak out, I'm trying not to freak out). A toddler is screaming, "Give it! Give it!" and his screaming is putting lightning bolts into my brain. There's a foul odor of spoiled food and soiled diapers. I want to vomit.

But I have to be somewhere, so I don't get off. I tap my foot instead. It's the only thing that keeps me grounded. I might fly away otherwise. Gravity.

There is no such thing as beautiful. It's an amorphous concept. A broken knuckle or a caved-in skull can be beautiful. So can a door rotted by erosion. So can a mosquito.

I'm so tired. There's a wheel inside my head, and it won't stop spinning. Its spokes are made of crimes and cruelty.

I have to constantly remind myself that I know how to walk and how to breathe. "Hey, dummy," I tell myself, "it's not that hard." Walking and breathing are the easiest things in the world. So why are they so hard for me?

I get off the bus and enter a coffee shop. Or maybe it's a cafe. I don't know the difference. There are people talking about stuff. They look very serious. I order a regular-size Americano. I hope I pronounced that correctly.

The coffee is hot and bitter. I enjoy it. I stare out the second-floor window. Outside, people are coming and going, this way and that way. What interesting lives they must all lead. That woman looks like a dentist. I bet that stocky guy with the leather briefcase is a former bodyguard who got fired for sleeping with his client's charge.The woman pushing a stroller has a fake baby and a bomb inside of it.

I finish my coffee and take the subway home. I like the subway. It's honest; it doesn't try to be something it isn't.

When I get home I feed my dog and take a tangerine out of the refrigerator. I lie down in bed and peel it. The rind is mushy, but the sections inside are still sweet. I name each one as I eat them.








Good night, ladies.

I have a stomachache when I awake. I try to throw up in the toilet but am too late and have to use the bathroom sink as a substitute. Any port in a storm. Cleaning that later is going to suck.

It's raining outside now. I'm in bed. I'm counting how many fingers I have on each hand.  Five on both. Next I look at the light fixture above the bed. It looks like an apparition that will steal my soul. Maybe it already has.

The last three issues of Samurai Rabbit were never published.

They never will be.

Z is the letter of

Sunday, February 01, 2015

Such Complete Intoxication!

I've been racking my addled brain for the best way possible to explain the depths of my endless adoration of XXTRA Flamin' Hot Cheetos to you, Constant Reader, but, perhaps shamefully, all I can seem to do is eat more Cheetos.

If nothing else, replace 'girl' with 'curls' in Survivor's High On You and you'll get the gist of our relationship.